Fijileaks Editor: "It is not necessary that every State institution must have a minister responsible for elections. Several constitutions now have independent commissions with no minister over them. Fiji should adopt these--in the Yash Ghai Draft Constitution, which Khaiyum "torched" and replaced with his own, there are such commissions."
He maintains there are no differences in his responsibilities as was given to Laisenia Qarase for the 2001 and 2006 elections as well as Sitiveni Rabuka in the 1996 elections while they held the prime minister’s portfolio while they held leadership roles in their respective political parties then.
Qarase and Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry had reacted strongly to the appointment of Sayed-Khaiyum as secretary of the proposed FijiFirst party, calling on him to step down as Minister for Elections citing conflict of interest. “It’s the same thing,” Sayed-Khaiyum. “Ministerial assignments, elections office, electoral commissioners were given to Laisenia Qarase, the same thing has been given to me. Just because we highlighted the minister responsible for elections, does not in any way change the fact that he was responsible for elections. “It is in the same way if any government wants to highlight a particular aspect of the position.
“Like I said most comments made by these people is not worth responding. I think they are just trying to get attention. The law is quite clear.” When asked about his degree of involvement in the electoral process, he maintains the Electoral Commission and the Fijian Elections Office including the Supervisor of Elections are independent. “The law is quite clear. The Electoral Commission is independent, the Supervisor of Elections and is independent. It’s in the Electoral Decree. It is very clear. It is very simple. Source: Fijilive.
Fijileaks: Read Deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's statement here; FLP statement here